GEORGIA – Former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson said she is considering a run for Georgia House District 165, the seat currently occupied by Rep. Mickey Stephens.
While Stephens hasn’t officially retired yet, his wife gave a heartfelt farewell speech at the Georgia Capitol towards the end of last month, his official resignation has not yet been tendered. Jackson said she wouldn’t formally announce a run for the seat until that time “out of respect” for Stephens.
Jackson, a Savannah native, served three terms on Savannah City Council, leaving only to run for mayor. Jackson won, and became the first — and so far, the only — Black woman to ever hold the seat.
She worked with Stephens on his most recent campaign and has known him since elementary school. The two were in the same graduating class at Beach High School.
Jackson said she’s considering her run because of the issues on the table in the coming year. One in particular has her attention: the redistricting and reapportionment of Georgia in October.
The Georgia General Assembly will formally redraw the state’s U.S. congressional and state legislative districts using data from the 2020 Census later this year.
“There are so many crucial issues that are going to have to take place within the next two years. One is reapportionment,” Jackson said. “I know how it’s done. I know how to do it. I know what needs to be looked for. I have been living in this area here since ‘71.”
Jackson spoke highly of Stephens and called him an “excellent, excellent state representative,” noting that she looks to emulate his approach of “doing it for the right reasons: the people,” Jackson said.
“I love my city, and I love my county, and the needs are greater than me,” Jackson said.
The special election to replace Stephens has not yet been announced by Gov. Brian Kemp.After a seat is left vacant in the House, it must be filled by a special election declared by the governor. The governor has 10 days to announce the special election following an elected official’s retirement, and it must be held no less than 30 days and no more than 60 days following the announcement.
The responsibility for holding the election falls on the shoulders of the county it affects, in this case, Chatham.
Jackson would run as a Democrat and would challenge Chatham County Elections Board Member Antwan Lang, also a Democrat, in the special election. Lang announced his candidacy last week. Additional candidates are expected in the race.